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November 13, 2007

Ackoff's Best: His Classic Writings on Management

Ackoffs_best_chinese_3 This book has been translated into Chinese by the Wintop Group.
WINTOP is currently conducting translation projects to introduce Ackoff's thoughts to Chinese readers.

Posted by ACASA on November 13, 2007 at 01:18 PM in Announcements | Permalink | Comments (2)

November 12, 2007

Application of Systems Thinking

Deep Ocean Search Planning: A Case Study Of Problem Solving
Johan Strümpfer

The Accident
In late 1987 a Boeing 747 of South African Airways crashed into the Indian Ocean after an on board fire. The crash location was 250 km north west of Mauritius, an island east of Madagascar. Despite modern technology the location of the wreckage was as uncertain as the location of the Titanic. A massive search and recovery operation was immediately launched. This effort covered various search phases, namely a surface search and recovery, an underwater sound beacon search, an underwater sonar search, and an underwater photographic survey and recovery. All searches faced unique technical challenges, of providing accurate navigation aids and the sheer depth of the ocean. Ocean depth was in places over 5 km deep and very mountainous. This depth was significantly deeper than that of the Titanic search, the deepest deep ocean search up to that time.
This situation resulted in the in the mobilization of resources and personnel from more than a dozen nationalities. There eventually were six basic sources of information on where to conduct the search. Some of the nationality groups favored one or more of these information sources over others, resulting in conflicting and widely dispersed opinions on where the search should be conducted. The stakes were raised by the perception that those groups whose information sources were seen to prevail, would be more likely to obtain the lucrative search and recovery contract.
To read this web post, click on: Deep Ocean Search Planning: A Case Study Of Problem Solving

Posted by ACASA on November 12, 2007 at 09:51 AM in blog post | Permalink | Comments (3)

November 02, 2007

Leadership and Systems Thinking

Col. George E. Reed, US Army
Defense AT&L

Leaders operate in the realm of bewildering uncertainty and staggering complexity. Today’s problems are rarely simple and clear-cut. If they were, they would likely already have been solved by someone else. If not well considered—and sometimes even when they are—today’s solutions become tomorrow’s problems.
Success in the contemporary operating environment requires different ways of thinking about problems and organizations. This article introduces some concepts of systems thinking and suggests that it is a framework that should be understood and applied by leaders at all levels, but especially those within the acquisition community. It is insufficient and often counterproductive for leaders merely to act as good cogs in the machine. Leaders perform a valuable service when they discern that a venerated system or process has outlived its usefulness, or that it is operating as originally designed but against the organization’s overall purpose. Sometimes we forget that systems are created by people, based on an idea about what should happen at a given point in time. A wise senior warrant officer referred to this phenomenon as a BOGSAT—a bunch of guys sitting around talking.
Systems Endure
To read the rest of this article, please click on the following URL: Leadership and Systems Thinking

Posted by ACASA on November 2, 2007 at 03:47 PM in Systems Articles | Permalink | Comments (0)